Montreal Business Network provides ‘support tools’ to black entrepreneurs

Black entrepreneurs face unique obstacles when it comes to the business world.

In a 2021 Abacus Data survey, 76 percent of black Canadian entrepreneurs said their race made it harder for them to succeed, and 55 percent said they didn’t know where to turn for support or advice when challenges arose.

Black Business Atlas (BBA), a network of Montreal-based businesses, is trying to change that.

The network connects black-owned businesses with customers and provides them with “support tools for growth,” according to the BBA’s website.

Members held a pop-up market in Lachine this weekend to promote their products and services.

“Seeing other people who have faced or are facing the same struggles as them […] it makes you feel a little better knowing that, ‘Okay, I’m not the only one going through these challenges,'” said BBA co-founder and CEO Fatoumata Barry.

The web has been an important tool for people like Christine Duverger, owner of skincare line Atelier Meroe.

“It’s a very nice feeling to know that you can help people who have the same experiences and live with the same kind of barriers that you do,” Duverger said.

Duverger says BBA gives her access to the support she needs — and that need for support is universal.

“The community needs support to succeed. I don’t think that’s unique to the black community.”

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